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29 Nov, 2023 14:56

Large families should be the norm – Putin

Traditional values will secure the country’s future for many generations to come, the Russian president has said
Large families should be the norm – Putin

Families with many children should become a dominant trend in modern Russia, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, insisting that achieving this goal should become the government’s utmost priority.

Speaking at the World Russian People’s Council – a forum organized under the auspices of the Russian Orthodox Church – to discuss the country’s future, Putin placed special emphasis on the importance of family values.

“Large families must become the norm, a way of life for all of Russia’s peoples,” he said, describing the family not only as the pillar on which the state and society stand, but also as “a source of morality.”

Putin went on to recall that many ethnic groups in Russia have maintained the tradition of having “multigenerational families” with at least four or five children. “Russian families, many of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers had seven, eight, or even more children,” he pointed out, urging everyone to “preserve and revive these excellent traditions.”

Russian officials have for many years attempted to improve what they describe as a “daunting” situation, as the country’s demographics are plagued by a plunging birth rate, including by providing parents with an incentive of several thousand dollars. Launched in 2007, this federal subsidy program allows the family to receive a payment for each child born.  

However, the Russian president emphasized that while money and other benefits are extremely important to boost demographics, a person’s mindset could play a far more important role.

According to Putin, all levels of the Russian government should prioritize supporting families. “Preserving and increasing the population of Russia is our goal for the coming decades and even generations ahead,” he added.

As part of a campaign to promote family values, Putin last week declared 2024 the ‘Year of the Family’. He has also acknowledged that abortion remains an “acute problem,” suggesting Moscow  ban the sale of pregnancy-terminating drugs and improve the overall standard of living in the country to address the issue. 

The number of abortions in Russia has been on a steady decline in recent years, decreasing from more than 660,000 in 2018 to 517,000 in 2021, according to the Federal State Statistics Service. In addition, in recent months, private medical facilities in several Russian regions have begun refusing to perform abortions in many cases.